Not the type of book I would usually read yet I found this fictional account of the 1899 Ladysmith fascinating. Giles Foden evokes, quite superbly, the human cost of war.
Tom saw how Foster's lips, still whistling, were blue; how the leather helmet was ripped at the very crown of the head where a small piece of shrapnel, plunging downwards, had passed through his skull .... Tom looked at Kiernan, whose eyes were popping, and then over to Bella and Jane. The latter had got up out of her deckchair and was running towards them. As she ran, her dress was rippling. Behind her, fanned by the wind, a tall curtain of flame gathered in the blasted trees.